Website to match voters views with parties goes live

Website to match voters views with parties goes live

By staff writers
31 Mar 2010

Unlock Democracy have today (Wednesday) launched their 2010 General Election version of Vote Match, a short online interactive quiz designed to raise voter awareness about the policy differences between the parties on the issues that matter to them.

The website www.votematch.org.uk went live at 6.00pm this evening.

Vote Match aims to help raise awareness about the policy differences between political parties on the issues that matter most to those using the site.

It helps people come to a decision as to how and whether they should vote by providing a match based on users' answers to a number of policy statements on the issues most important to them.

The site also hopes to encourage democratic participation and engagement by providing voters with a match and then further links to other independent organisations, so that people can find information on the issues that matter to them.

Voters are asked to answer a number of agree/disagree statements about policy, and then to rank them in order of importance to them. They then get a match based on how their answers compare with the parties answers to the same statement.

The statements were devised with the help of an independent academic panel based at Goldsmiths.

Whilst run by Unlock Democracy, a non-politically aligned campaigns organisation, it is led by an Advisory Board. The Board is chaired by the former Head of the Electoral Commission, Sam Younger.

Commenting on the launch, Peter Facey of Unlock Democracy said: "For many voters, especially first time voters, we recognise that often it is not obvious which party best represents their views. All too often politicians talk at people instead of listening. Vote Match is designed to be simple, fun and to put voter’s views front and centre.

"Politicians make decisions on issues that affect us all; crime, tuition fees, employment, healthcare, setting levels of taxation, the list goes on and on. We hope that Vote Match helps people by giving them access to the information they need to make an informed decision at the ballot box, on the issues that matter to them."

Vote Match is based on StemWijzer developed by the Institute for Political Participation in the Netherlands. Originally a paper-based quiz started in 1988, one in three Dutch voters used StemWijzer in the run up to the 2006 Parliamentary elections. The German Wahl-O-Mat was used by one in five voters in the run up to the 2005 Parliamentary elections.

Vote Match is a project of Unlock Democracy in partnership with Telegraph.co.uk and Goldsmiths University of London.

[Ekk/2]

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